Letter: Experience, not education, is key for contracting officers

Regarding, "Managing a blended workforce": Unfortunately the federal government lost their ability to acquire experienced professionals when they made it a requirement that the 1102's have a degree.  Most of the best and brightest staff in the field were trained through experience with real contracts and years of exposure to every possible scenario. Today they bring in someone with a degree and they can hardly write a clear sentence and they have no abilities when it comes to the contracting field. They leave long before they ever get to the point that they have enough experience.

Most of the current government staff that I have seen over the past few years leave little to be desired. They don't have the experience needed to handle the job. Therefore the federal government has to hire contractors to come in and bring the experienced staff required to get the program requirements out the door and into the hands that need it. I had many years in government as a contracting officer with an unlimited warrant and I know I am the best. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I came up in a time when college was only available to the rich or those that were going into fields that required a degree (doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc.). I went straight from high school to an office job for the Government and worked my way from a GS-4 to a GS-14. I did it with a high school diploma and a lot of determination. 

I learned from experienced professionals and took specific training in the 1102 field. I became a contracting officer with an unlimited degree and was well respected by attorneys, management, and the contractor's I dealt with.  So there are those that only need a high school education to become an 1102 professional and then there are those that need a college degree and masters in business administration that come into the field and still can't do what is expected of them. So who is the smarter of the two?

Experience in the 1102 is the key, not the education. I work for a contractor now supporting a very high visibility program for the Marine Corps and they would fire me if they got word that I wrote these comments. However, the truth is here for all to see and we can all thank DAWIA for making the 1102 field a nightmare to get into if you are headed for a government career. The only ones who benefit from the DAWIA requirements are the colleges and universities who hand out the degrees in exchange for payment of huge sums of money to allow students to take on line courses and do open book tests.  What are they really learning anyway? 

Thanks for allowing me to provide these comments. 


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